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I studied at the University of Maryland and graduated at the University of Arizona. My primary interests in college were chemistry, biology (especially plant biology) and physical science. My desire is to help all students, no matter what their age or ability, to be successful in learning a subject, whether it's math or science or reading. I recognize that different learners learn differently, and I use different strategies to engage their ability to learn and succeed. There is nothing like the joy of seeing the "lightbulb" go off when a student masters a concept.

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Jim’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of Arizona - Bachelor of Science, Ecology & Evol. Biology


hiking, biking, travel, photography, singing

Tutoring Subjects



High School Chemistry

Life Sciences

Middle School Math

Middle School Science

Physical Science


Q & A

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

Develop techniques to help them master the material. Find out what is holding them back from developing a strategy to comprehend written materials.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

Developing a relationship with the student. Finding common interests. Learning what subjects they find interesting and why. Also, finding out what subjects they'd like to master but have problems with.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

Encourage them to not give up. Sometimes mastering a skill just takes a little more time! Develop strategies that work for you. Find out what is the interesting part of the problem is, and use that interest to develop mastery.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

Review. Go over practice problems. Work on new problems that resemble the practice problems but are not the same. This allows them to synthesize their learning and apply it.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

Develop the understanding that being wrong is perfectly normal, and it's how learning takes place. Don't be afraid to take chances and even guess (or develop new ways of looking at a problem).

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

Through interviewing them, finding out interests and problem areas. Finding out what type of learner they are (visual, etc.).

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

I try to use their learning style to adapt my lessons so that they are successful. It's important to develop a logical thought process to make learning easier. Some students think "outside of the box" and require strategies that work with that ability.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

Internet materials, practice problems, or reading materials, it's very varied.

What is your teaching philosophy?

All students can learn. Find out how you learn best, and use your interests to make learning more fun and more interesting.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

Get to know them. Develop a sense of trust. Encourage them to question me at all times. Find out their interests and abilities. Find out what they have a passion for.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I would encourage them with the following sentences: Develop confidence. Don't be afraid to fail; even in failing you learn. Develop a life-long interest in learning.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Encourage them. Don't judge them. Respect their fears and confusion. Understand that learning is an individual process and you need to find out how you learn best.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

Review. Present material in new ways. Use similar but different problems. Allow them to make up their own problems in those difficult areas.

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